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Air Force Visible, Accessible, Understandable, Linked and Trustworthy Data Platform
U.S. Air Force
The best way to scale new technology is to make it easily accessible to everyone involved. That’s why the Air Force designed the Visible, Accessible, Understandable, Linked and Trustworthy platform. It gives personnel secure, cloud-based tools for connecting with data that is essential to mission and readiness success.
Previously, Air Force organizations that wanted to explore machine learning or complex data analysis had to build their own environments, making it unattainable for many components.
“The Chief Data Office is working hard to enable Air Force-wide access
to essential tools and datasets to demonstrate the power of data in operational decision-making,” said Col. Charles Destefani, the Air Force’s acting deputy chief data officer.
VAULT has supported several capabilities, including Tableau’s visualization tool for the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center’s installation health assessments. The approach
saved months of labor while providing more accurate data analysis. In addition, installation commanders can now view
actionable data on the spot via dashboards and customizable visualizations.
The platform was also instrumental
in streamlining the Air Force’s shift to telework during the coronavirus pandemic. It helped bridge capabilities to support
a secure remote work environment and assisted with COVID-19 reporting.
Because of its success this year, VAULT graduated from a pathfinder to an enterprise solution.
Budget Line of Business Apportionment Manager
Department of Education
The budget apportionment process is
a tedious but essential part of agency operations and one that often entails dueling spreadsheets and reams of paper records. The Budget Line of Business — a budget-process innovation team based at the Education Department — is working to modernize apportionment via a cloud- based shared service.
The Apportionment Manager makes
it easier to stay on the right side of the Antideficiency Act, which prohibits federal employees from exceeding the budgeted amount for any activity, by ensuring that funds are properly apportioned by time period, function and program. It allows agencies to interface directly with the Office of Management and Budget’s apportionment system while maintaining their internal controls and workflow capabilities. In fact, one agency reported that it cut apportionment processing time in half.
The system is designed to move documents electronically from an agency to the Education Department’s Budget
Office and finally to OMB for review and sign-off. That approach creates a digital audit trail and allows stakeholders to track apportionments through the entire process — from initial review to final approval.
The central system of record replaces countless email attachments and paper files and significantly reduces the amount of effort involved in workflow validations.
Thanks to electronic signatures, a web-based interface and carefully tailored workflows, the Apportionment Manager enables every step of the process to happen remotely. That proved especially valuable during the pandemic this year but will be important in a wide range of post- COVID situations as well.
The first iteration of the Apportionment Manager debuted in 2016, but 2020
was a tipping point for the effort. The revamped system has been deployed to seven agencies governed by the Chief Financial Officers Act, and development is underway for an eighth.
Cloud-based Disaster Recovery Implementation for Integrated Eligibility System
Oregon Department of Human Services
If there is a lesson to be learned from 2020, it’s the importance of being prepared. Oregon has taken that lesson to the next level by adopting Microsoft Azure’s Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) to ensure that eligibility information for critical health and human services programs remains accessible in the event of a network outage.
“It was important to have a disaster
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